A Complete Guide on Aluminum Nitride PCB (AlN PCB)

Whatever information you are seeking regarding ceramic PCB and aluminum nitride PCB (Aln PCB) this article discusses everything. Whether you wish to learn and understand the uses, features, or properties, the article and guide contains all the necessary information you seek.

First, we will consider everything concerning ceramic PCBs and its substrates, and then we will focus on the Aluminum nitride. Please continue reading as we explain this topic.

What is a AlN PCB?

A AlN PCB is made up of traditional printed circuit boards featuring ceramic material options. It is possible to transform other ceramic material options into different shapes in order to meet your needs.

In addition, the ceramic PCBs feature some great characteristics. They have the ability to resist very high temperatures. Also, they feature high insulation performance, coupled with other benefits.

Reasons why you should work with AlN Aluminum Nitride PCB

There are so many reasons which will allow you to choose ceramic PCBs rather than other options. There are usually preferred due to:

High operating temperature

The ceramic pcbs are useful for devices operating under extremely high temperatures. The quality ensures their uniqueness in contrast to other types of circuit boards which may easily fail whenever they are exposed to any high temperature. For temperatures as high as 350 degrees Celsius, be sure that your devices will function effectively and efficiently.

Great thermal properties

This is the ability of ceramic circuit boards to conduct heat. Furthermore, a ceramic PCB features high stability. What this means is that it offers great electrical properties for that ceramic circuit board.

Low Expansion Coefficient

The ceramic circuit board also makes sure of a low coefficient of thermal expansion. Due to this, they rarely face distortion as a result of temperature fluctuations.

Most times, when making use of covalent materials which includes silicon nitride, silicon carbide, and diamond, this usually leads to the establishment of stronger bonds. Therefore, this ensures that you get low coefficients in this thermal expansion.

Greater high-frequency performance

The ceramic PCB delivers great high-frequency performance. Note that this is very important in determining the transmission path bandwidth and impedance. Also, the dielectric material which is present in the ceramic circuits helps in enhancing the frequency performance. This is because of its ability to limit impedance present on its signal path.

High Modulus

Ceramic boards have a very effective PCB for devices working under the thermal conditions that are fluctuating. This is due to its high modulus.

Lowers the Initial cost of Ceramic PCB Assembly

Using ceramic circuits, you will be able to reduce the number of tests and insertions needed. This contrasts other type of circuit boards, as a result of the material type used. It also has a short assembly process in contrast to other circuits. This ensures less expensive ceramic printed circuit boards.

What are the Applications of AlN PCB?

The popularity of ceramic PCBs is well-known due to their strengths. The ceramic PCBs have a low dielectric constant, can fight chemical erosion, have low CTE, and their thermal conductivity capabilities are high. As a result of this strength, the ceramic PCB features many applications. These include:

Memory Module

A ceramic PCB can offer high-density assembly. For this reason ceramic pcbs can have about 4 integrated circuit chips. With this, it becomes very reliable ceramic boards in the manufacturing of the memory module as well as ceramic pcb projects.

Furthermore, the memory modules present in different telecommunication products could be useful in harsh and extreme environments. Also, they are very resistant to shock and vibrations

Multi-layer Interconnect Board

The ceramic PCB is useful in manufacturing multilayer interconnect board. Why is this so? The ceramic board or ceramic PCB has the ability to hold many components on the board area.

What this guarantees is the production of devices that are more sophisticated in the smaller packages, in contrast to the FR4 boards.

Transmission/Receiving Module

The transmission and receiving modules for the radars in our communication industry are manufactured from ceramic circuits. Why is this? This is because of the aluminum nitride that has low CTE and higher thermal conductivity.

What are the Features of a Ceramic PCB?

Below are the features of a ceramic PCB.

Quick Turn

Having a drill aspect ratio of 18:1, a ceramic PCB features a quick turn. With this, they have the leverage over other printed circuit boards classified under FR4.

Wide Variety

Also, a ceramic PCB offers virtually all the necessary demands your device will have regarding layers. With respect to the minimum, this PCB could have just one layer. According to your specification, it could have about 32 layers.

Micro-vias and Blind Buried Vias

A ceramic PCB has another feature – the blind buried vias. Also, the micro vias is buried and blind as well. This is what differentiates it from the FR4 PCBs that have their micro vias and vias exposed.

Production Quantities

Note that the maximum size of the panel measures 24 x 40. With this, users will be able to manufacture the ceramic PCB in large quantities. Also, this depends on the device.

What are the Ceramic Substrates Types with Respect to Material?

Alumina Substrate

This ceramic substrate is the most frequently used material in the entire electronics industry due to their electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties in contrast to majority of oxide ceramics. Furthermore, it features high chemical stability and strength and is very rich in different raw materials. Alumina substrate is great for different shapes and technical manufacturing.


This is another ceramic substrate of the ceramic pcbs. The thermal conductivity of BeO is higher in contrast to metal aluminum. Also, it is useful in applications that require high thermal conductivity.


AlN is another ceramic substrate that has two important properties. First, is its high thermal conductivity. The second property is its expansion coefficient. There is a disadvantage here; once there is a very thin layer of oxide present on the surface, then its thermal conductivity will be affected immediately. You will only be able to manufacture the AlN substrate via good consistency

With all the reasons above, alumina ceramics remain in a very dominant position for the power modules, hybrid microelectronics, power electronics, and microelectronics fields as a result of their greater comprehensive performance.

Let’s shed more light on the aluminum nitride.

What is Aln PCB (Aluminum Nitride PCB)?

Aluminum Nitride PCB is a printed circuit board that contains a conductive material. This is a form of ceramic PCB having a high thermal conductivity of about 170w/Mk in combination with having a low expansion coefficient and a strong dielectric.

These properties are what have made the aluminum nitride PCB a high performing circuits solutions delivered for high current and high temperatures coefficient.

In addition, the aluminum nitride are available in different shapes/sizes, thickness, and colors, which is useful in different applications. These include radio frequency and automotive companies, LED converter and power companies and more.

What Material Properties are Present in Aluminum Nitride?

The aluminum nitride PCB features properties which makes it a great choice for different applications. We can categorize them as environmental, chemical, and physical properties.

There are some factors to consider. These include dielectric constant, density, thermal expansion, melting point, comprehensive strength, bulk modulus, tensile strength, maximum and minimum service temperature, breakdown potential, etc.

Thermal Expansion

The thermal expansion of the Aln PCB has a minimum value of about 4.3 SI units. Furthermore, its maximum value is 5.61 SI units.

Thermal Conductivity

This ceramic PCB is known to have a great thermal conductivity with a value of around 170w/Mk. This makes it a great choice for use in different applications.

Boiling Point and Melting Point

The Aluminum nitride PCB features a melting point of over 2000 degrees Celsius.

Electrical Insulation

The aluminum nitride PCB also provides a great electrical resistance. This is why it is a great electrical insulator.


Aluminum nitride has an average density value of around 3.26 grams for each centimeter cube. Also, in the environmental properties, the focus should be on the response of the aluminum nitride to UV radiations, moisture, corrosion, temperature, and more.

UV Radiation

The Aluminum nitride PCB resists UV radiations as a result of the formation of its oxide layer.

Resists Corrosion

A protective coating and surface finishes that are applied on it, surrounds the Aluminum nitride PCB, and helps in protecting it from different corrosive effects that come from its surrounding.

Resists Temperature

In addition to the above, aluminum nitride helps in offering resistance to very high temperatures that can reach about 1370 degrees Celsius. Any temperature higher than this could lead to the material experiencing bulk oxidation.

Also aluminum nitride is known to be stable in hydrogen or carbon dioxide atmospheres.

Reasons Why You Should Go For Aluminum Nitride PCBs

Once the driver is thermal conductivity, then the most appropriate option is Aluminum. This features a thermal conductivity value of about 170w/Mk. This makes it great for very demanding systems.

Also, it features properties like high operation temperatures, strong dielectric, small size of package as a result of integration, hermetic packages, low expansion coefficient, and more.

With these properties, it permits the usefulness of aluminum nitride PCB in different applications and fields. These include lasers, high power LEDs, high-current switches, etc.

However, the manufacturing of aluminum nitride PCB is done by the high grade aluminum materials that are resilient and tough. Thus ensures more durability of the product. This durability aspect assists you in saving the maintenance and repair costs.

How to make an Aluminum Nitride PCB

Remember that aluminum nitride is regarded as an inorganic or synthetic ceramic compound that is made of mainly nitrogen and aluminum steel. The aluminum nitride manufacturing process deals with two main processes. These include:

  • Direct nitridation
  • Carbothermal nitridation and reduction

In the production of aluminum nitride PCB, the most commonly and preferred used method is referred to as direct nitridation. Carbothermal nitridation and reduction helps as an option for direct nitridation. However, for majority of cases, it is useful in producing alumina nitride.

Furthermore, direct nitridation has to do with self-sustaining aluminum reaction with nitrogen where the ignition of aluminum powder in an atmosphere containing nitrogen takes place. The initial product goes through more processing via classification, crushing, or milling, in order to manufacture the end product which is aluminum nitride.

This method comes with a benefit. It is very environmentally friendly. This means that it doesn’t produce green house gases or harmful byproducts. Also, it is very energy efficient.

Moreover, the manufacturing process could come with some disadvantages. The milling process may introduce possible impurities. Also, breaking the formed aluminum nitride during the milling process could be difficult. This is why there may be a need for multiple steps for size reduction in order to reach the desired size of the particle.

What is the Cost of Aluminum Nitride?

Aluminum nitride board prices vary. This depends on some factors like surface finish, color, thickness, board layer, and size, etc.

There are cases whereby the quantity might as well determine your ceramic PCB price. In these cases, the suppliers and manufacturers may permit discount to people buying in bulk all the way from China.

What are the Applications of Aluminum Nitride PCB?

The aluminum nitride PCBV is a good product that serves different applications. Now, the applications are due to the good properties and features present in the product. Aluminum nitride is useful in applications that require thermal conductivity and electrical insulation.

These include semiconductor industries, cooling systems, transportation inverters, high brightness LEDs, telecommunications, and more. It is also useful in very abrasive environment as a result of its ability to stand against high temperature. It also keeps the device risk-free.

What are the Disadvantages of Making use of Aluminum Nitride PCB (Aln PCB)?

You can only find a few pitfalls of the aluminum oxide boards. In contrast to other PCBs, the aluminum nitride PCB is costly. However, when the drive is electrical insulation and thermal conductivity, aluminum nitride boards are the best.

The second disadvantage is the exposure of the aluminum nitride printed circuit board via inhalation, injection, or mouth could lead to lung and bone toxicity. Despite these disadvantages, the aluminum nitride circuit board has always been the most appropriate solution for different applications as a result of the great properties it possesses.


We hope you have a full understanding of Aln PCB. If you seek help in any area regarding how aluminum or ceramic boards work, please inform us.

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